Angels Insiders: Lincecum, Scully, Santiago, Edmonds

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The Angels signed Tim Lincecum and the fallout was filled with mixed reviews. Writers, pundits, executives, etc. all had a go at the move. Some executives have come out with skepticism over Tim’s ability to start Major League games. Those who have wondered why the Giants didn’t sign him should know that club wanted him as a long reliever. But the Angels took a chance on The Freak. And they need it. Probably more than any other club right now.

General Manager Billy Eppler says Timmy will need a couple of rehab starts and will probably be on the Angels’ mound between June 10-15. That’s not a bad timeline. Lincecum has thrown a lot of bullpen sessions and simulated games, with pitch counts around 90, with his fastball at around 90.

That sounds like a pitcher who can start Big League games. And although questions from those outside of the organization are valid, especially those wondering if going to the American League was a wide choice, Tim preferred a We Lincecum, Scully, Santiago, Edmonds Lincecum, Scully, Santiago, Edmondsst Coast ball club. At the same time, the Angels could also not afford to be too picky. This was a big opportunity for them. It could just be an average stop-gap to patch up a rotation depleted by injuries, or it can turn out to be the biggest steal in a long time.

Here’s some more of what’s going on around the Big A:

    • Parts one and two of the live session at Torch Tattoo in Anaheim with Hector Santiago!
        • Mike Trout talks baseball with another Angels center fielder… Jim Edmonds

Halo Waiver Wire: Luetge, Cowart, and… Luetge

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Welcome to the LA Angels Insider Transaction Tracker, also called the ‘Halo Waiver Wire’, which is located within the Eppler’s Domain category. Here we will be listing daily Angels transactions for the 2016 regular season. Major transactions will be analyzed in separate articles. This will be a running post that will last throughout the end of the season. So let’s start with what’s been happening lately:

  • As expected, the lefty will be back in AAA to make room for upcoming bigger roster moves.

May 25, 2016

  • This is Cowart’s second call-up with the Angels. The first happened last summer from August 18 through the end of the season. Caleb was hitting .303 / .352 / .454 at AAA Salt Lake while playing at all four non-catcher infield positions. The Angels have been grooming Cowart to be more of a versatile utility player, in mold of Chone Figgins, Maicer Izturis, and Cliff Pennington. But with the way the Halos’ bench depth has stepped up this season, bringing up Cowart may also be an audition for some kind of trade. We’ll see.
  • Luetge did not throw a single pitch for the Halos. His call-up was strictly to fill in a temporary vacancy by the recently signed Tim Lincecum, who was officially on the 25-man roster when the deal was official, but was then sent down to prep him for Big League innings next month. In order to make that move, the team had to DFA A.J. Achter to get Luetge on the 40-man.

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Halo Injury Report: Wilson, Skaggs, Bandy

Angels starting pitcher C.J. Wilson pitches in his first outing of his injury rehab assignment with the Inland Empire 66ers as they play against the Lake Elsinore Storm at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, CA on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

Angels starting pitcher C.J. Wilson pitches in his first outing of his injury rehab assignment with the Inland Empire 66ers as they play against the Lake Elsinore Storm at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, CA on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

Welcome to the LA Angels Insider Injury Report! Here we will have updates on injured Angels players. This will be running post that will last throughout the 2016 regular season. Here are the latest reports:

  • C.J. Wilson had a good start but still felt some slight discomfort, which is normal when coming back from a nearly 300 day hiatus. His off-speed pitches were hit hard, but everything else worked just fine. C.J. is scheduled to pitch one more rehab game, and is eligible to come off the DL on June 2.
  • While the lefty has had his struggles at times, along with one of his best seasons in 2013, the Angels could certainly use the innings at this point. The bullpen is dead tired.

May 25, 2016

  • Skaggs will throw a rehab assignment this weekend. If all goes well, he’ll likely throw another one before the he and club decide it’s time to make his return from Tommy John Surgery. We’re coming up on the two year mark from the last time the young lefty pitched a Major League game.
  • Jett Bandy was removed from Wednesday’s game in Arlington because of a hamstring cramp. The young catcher already had two hits and an RBI in the game before rounding first in an awkward manner and discovering his leg was not having it. There’s nothing to worry about, however. As if the Halos need another catcher on the DL.

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Angels Sign Tim Lincecum

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum throws to the Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game on Saturday, March 23, 2013 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum throws to the Oakland Athletics’ Yoenis Cespedes during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game on Saturday, March 23, 2013 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Freak is coming to the Big A!

Former San Francisco Giants ace, and two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, 31, has signed a Major League deal with the Angels. The righty a $2 million base salary for the rest of the 2016 season, plus $1.7 million in incentives. The Halos are in dire need of starting pitching depth after seeing what was once a deep rotation get blown apart by injuries.

Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise?

Recovering from season ending hip surgery last September, Lincecum, turning 32 soon, has worked out extensively. He has thrown simulated games, as well as a showcase ten days ago where scouts from most MLB clubs attended. It is said that the righty’s fastball has averaged about 89-91 miles per hour, and that his slider and changeup are still ‘above-average’. And that is an encouraging sign that Timmy can still be Major League a starter.

Posting a 4.68 ERA the last four seasons, the team that knew him the most, the San Francisco Giants, wasn’t quite interested in re-signing him as a starter despite their own rotation woes. There could be some some truth to that. However, if the Halos can get 20-25 starts with a high-3.00-to-low-4.00 ERA, it would probably be a successful return given current position that both Lincecum and the Angels are in right now.

Tim will probably need a couple of weeks to get to the Angels mound, maybe less. However, the club won’t be seeing any of their current injured starters returning for close to another month, so they may put Tim on the fast track since he’s already thrown 90-pitch simulated games. And if all goes well, this opportunity may have come at the perfect time.

Garrett Richards Will Undergo Stem Cell Treatment

Garrett Richards - wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day - delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on April 15, 2016 (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Garrett Richards – wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day – delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on April 15, 2016 (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

After ten days of waiting and biting our finger nails, news came today that Garrett Richards will not have Tommy John Surgery at this time. Instead, the ace will have a stem-cell injection that is similar to what former Angel Bartolo Colon had in 2011, and will rehab his pitching arm.

Richards was off to a great start with a 2.34 ERA / 3.25 FIP / 1.32 WHIP, showing signs he was returning to his 2014 form. The ace had felt fatigue in his pitching arm for a couple of weeks before the club revealed on May 6 that the righty may need to have the procedure to repair damage to his ulna collateral ligament.

This treatment isn’t quite the same as the platelet-rich plasma shot that Andrew Heaney received in late April, and the timetable for recovery is a bit longer, but Richards and the club felt this was the best course of action.

If Tommy John is still needed, however, Garrett will definitely miss all of 2017. And although that is a long recovery, he would still have one more season before hitting free agency. That’s still not exactly encouraging.

For now, Richards will be shut down for six weeks, and will then be evaluated by the club to determine if he will still need surgery, or continue his rehab. If all goes well, Richards could very well pitch again in 2016.

Angels Insiders: Rally Cat, Angels Weekly, No-Hit Bid, Halos Heating Up

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Welcome back to the Angels Insider section of L.A. Angels Insider. We have lots of fun stuff this week starting with a new cameo from the Rally Cat. The Halos bounced back after the fast feline showed up, but didn’t quite have the same results as on May 15, 2014, when the Halos were down to the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Mike Trout hit a walk-off homerun. But it certainly helped as the offense showed up and has been on fire ever since:

 

Now here’s more from the Big A:

  • On Angels Weekly, Alex Curry shows us how some of the Angels players developed comradarie during Spring Training.
  • Hector Santiago followed the seven inning performance of Jhoulyc Chacin with an eight frame outing that included a six-inning no-hit bid on Sunday against the Seattle Mariners at SafeCo Field. Santiago and the Halos defeated Felix Hernandez and the M’s 3-0 and completed a three-game sweep.
  • What slump? Albert Pujols is heating up. His last two homeruns have come in the ninth inning, and came within two games of each other. The second, a 3-run blast in Saturday’s slug fest in Seattle, proved to be the game winner. Pujols still has 8 homeruns and 23 RBI’s despite a .196 / .268 / .308 slash line.
  • C.J. Cron is also getting things going. Being an important piece in the Angels’ core, Cron not only is hitting earlier in 2016 than he was at this time last season, the young slugger is drawing walks. Coming into April 26, Cron was hitting .153 / .252 / .220. By May 13, he was at .279 / .353 / .423, thanks to a .370 / .424 / .574 run during that time. The walks have been pretty steady all season. Cron has 11 this season. By May 16 of last year, he was only at three. Everyone in the Angels’ camp was hoping for Cron to hit this season like he did in the second half of 2015, but the newly implemented plate discipline on top of his improved hitting has been a nice addition. Now everyone at the Big A are hoping Cron can carry both through the entire season.

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2016 Game 47: Angels at Rangers – 11:05am PT

5-25-16

Los Angeles Angels (21-25, 3rd AL West) at Texas Rangers (26-20, 2nd AL West)

Globe Life Park – Arlington, TX

Globe Life Park-day

Weather Forecast @ 1st Pitch: Cloudy, 85F, Wind S 16mph, 15% Chance of Rain

Pitching Matchup

Hector Santiago (3-2, 3.93 ERA)

Hector Santiago delivers a pitch during the second inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on May 15, 2016 (Otto Greule, Jr./Getty Images)

Hector Santiago delivers a pitch during the second inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on May 15, 2016 (Otto Greule, Jr./Getty Images)

Santiago’s last outing Friday against Baltimore was cut short when he was ejected in the top of the 3rd inning by home plate umpire John Tumpane for arguing balls & strikes. As it was, the outing was not going well anyway as Santiago had already given up a pair of 2-run home runs and was tagged with 4 earned runs on 3 hits in just 2 2/3 innings. The Angels went on to lose the game 9-4. Santiago’s previous outing in Seattle was a gem however, as he held the Mariners scoreless over 8 innings.

~VS~

Colby Lewis (3-0, 2.75 ERA)

Colby Lewis delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park on May 14, 2016 (Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

Colby Lewis delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park on May 14, 2016 (Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

While Lewis has always been a solid performer over the years for Texas, it would seem that he’s really turned it up a notch so far here in 2016. In his last outing Friday in Houston he held the Astros scoreless on just 4 singles over 7 innings to take the victory in a game the Rangers won 2-1. He has gone at least 7 innings in 5 consecutive starts, allowing no more than 3 earned runs in any one of them. Lewis held the Angels to 2 runs on 9 hits over 7 innings on April 29 to begin the streak. The Rangers won that game 4-2.

Game Notes

  • Lewis is 7-11 with a 6.08 ERA in 23 starts and two relief appearances against the Angels.
  • Like Mike Trout, Santiago also has found more success during the day, with a 2.03 ERA in those games compared to a 4.58 ERA at night. His day ERA is seventh-best in the AL.
  • Trout has four career home runs off Lewis, tied with retired outfielder Josh Willingham for the most off Lewis by any opponent.

Starting Lineups

Angels

  1. 3B-Yunel Escobar – .309
  2. RF-Kole Calhoun – .289
  3. CF-Mike Trout – .326
  4. DH-Albert Pujols – .224
  5. 1B-C.J. Cron – .244
  6. 2B-Johnny Giavotella – .270
  7. LF-Rafael Ortega – .260
  8. C-Jett Bandy – .000
  9. SS-Gregorio Petit – .289

Texas

  1. 2B-Rougned Odor – .262
  2. CF-Ian Desmond – .287
  3. DH-Prince Fielder – .198
  4. 3B-Adrian Beltre – .260
  5. RF-Nomar Mazara – .317
  6. LF-Ryan Rua – .259
  7. 1B-Mitch Moreland – .225
  8. SS-Elvis Andrus – .291
  9. C-Bobby Wilson – .255

AL West Standings

  1. Seattle: 27-18 (.600)
  2. Texas: 26-20 (.565) – 1.5 GB
  3. Angels: 21-25 (.457) – 6.5 GB
  4. Oakland: 20-27 (.426) – 8 GB
  5. Houston: 18-28 (.391) – 9.5 GB

Other AL West Matchups

  • Baltimore @ Houston – 5:10pm PT
  • Oakland @ Seattle – 7:10pm PT

2016 Game 46: Angels at Rangers

5-24-16

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2016 Game 45: Angels at Rangers

5-23-16

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2016 Game 44: Orioles at Angels

5-22-16 

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2016 Game 43: Orioles at Angels

Orioles at Angels

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2016 Game 42: Orioles at Angels

5-20-16

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